My Thoughts: Poverty & Ethnicity Kill Democracy in Africa

Lawrence Freeman in Addis Abebe-December 2021

An African friend of mine recently asked me to express my views on democracy in Africa to her organization. “Watch Democracy Grow.” Contrary to the incessant babbling by Western officials, NGOs and advocacy groups, you can read below a summary of my thoughts on what constitutes real democracy and how to create the conditions conducive for growing democracy in Africa.

I will focus my presentation on the relationship of elections to the deeper principles of fostering a true democracy. Many Westerners, European and American institutions and governments falsely assert that elections are the sign of a functioning democracy. This narrow understanding or interpretation of democracy is insufficient. It contributes to the poor conditions of life throughout most of Africa today, and actually undermines the creation of sustainable a Democratic Republic on the continent.

A Thinking Citizenry

A republic is not a democracy, and for good reason. A majority,  consisting of uninformed opinion, should not rule unfettered over a nation. That is why in a functioning Democratic Republic, we prefer the wisest people to govern. But how do we choose the most knowledgeable representatives? Yes, we do it physically at the polling booth in periodic and orderly elections. However, the act of voting itself does not guarantee viability of a nation, much less a thoughtful policy. The only guarantee that the voters are electing or even nominating the most intelligent guardians of their society is; an educated citizenry.

A true democracy requires all its citizens to think and discuss the most appropriate policies for their nation to adopt in order to secure a future for their children and grandchildren. In other words, the citizen should accept the responsibility for shaping the future of their nation, as if they were running for office themselves. Individuals seeking public office, who purport to have the qualifications to decide policy for their nation, are distilled from the population at large. Therefore, to ensure the selection of qualified leaders similarly requires an informed and thoughtful citizenry. A continuously advancing society, both materially and spiritually, existing within an educated science oriented culture, is the underlying platform for a viable Democratic Republic.

Like the individual seeking a leadership position in government, the citizen should have a vision for their nation that extends two generations into the future. Every citizen should believe that his or her participation is vital in shaping the policies that will determine the wellbeing of their progeny for generations to come. As eloquently articulated in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution, elected government exists to “… promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…

The fundamental unalterable principle that is the foundation of economics, national and foreign policy, and democracy, is the knowledge that each human being is sacred. It is necessary to acknowledge what it means when one states, that human beings are in the image of the Creator. Every member of the human race is born with the potential for creative thought that is in harmony with the creative principle embedded in the design of our lawfully ordered universe.

Does a mother searching for food for her child have the leisure time to study the best policies for the future of her nation? UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

Poverty Kills Democracy

Every human being is precious. Degradation or any preventable death, of a member of the human race is a violation of this natural law. Every human being has the right to live a dignified, meaningful, productive existence that affords a better-quality of life for future generations.

Thus, if we truly desire to increase the involvement of civil society in elections and in shaping the future of their nation, we must end poverty and hunger. There is no bigger threat to democracy than allowing substantial portions of a nation’s population to suffer in abject poverty and hunger, with death looming. The gross failure of groups advocating democracy and human rights, is their refusal to comprehend that development is a fundamental human right.

The dearth of electrical power in Africa is appalling and criminal. Producing less than 100,000 megawatts of electricity for a billion or more people in sub-Saharan Africa guarantees that Africans will not have the minimal standard of living necessary for democratic institutions to thrive. Over 600 million Africans have no access to grid electricity and 900 million Africans cook without electricity or gas. Without energy no nation can survive. Yet this shameful state of affairs has existed unaddressed for decades.

Some may object that I have brought extraneous concerns into the discussion of building democratic institutions. I can assure you that I have not. The ability to have access to energy, to feed one’s family, for parents to have a productive job, and for youth to look forward to a hopeful future, are absolutely germane. In fact, these concerns are at the heart of sustaining a democratic government.

If a majority of a nation’s people are hungry, not employed, living in substandard conditions, simply trying to survive, democracy is a mirage.

To reiterate: a true democracy requires a discussion and exchange of ideas among the citizens on what are the best policies for the future of their nation. All citizens and their elected representatives should have a vision for their nation. Society should select those candidates that have the qualifications to implement that vision. Do parents anxiously trying to find food to feed their children have the mental luxury to discuss with their friends and neighbors the most pressing issues facing their nation? Do citizens have the leisure time for such a discussion, and hours of relaxation to read and study the issues of the day? Does adequate housing exist with separate rooms for the children, and electricity to light rooms for long hours of study? Are there enough adequately supplied libraries for parents and children to learn history, philosophy, and science?

Without a prospering economy that offers a sufficient material quality of life, simply lining up at voting stations every four years is insufficient. The questions I have addressed above, are essential to sustaining

democratic institutions.

Africa lacks abundant and accessible electricity. Without electrical power there will be no development, poverty will persist, people will die, and democracy will fail to flourish. (Map courtesy of visualcapitalist.com)

No Democracy With Ethnicity

Ethnic nationalism does not permit democracy. I can assert this with authority, having examined, up close, for thirty years, African nations, whose societies are ethnically divided. Ethnicity is antithetical to a Democratic Republic. Human beings are not determined by their bloodline or their geographic location. The very existence of ethnicity is anti-human. It attempts to falsely differentiate people, rejecting the  universal quality of the human species; its unique potential for creativity. Every child born in any location on this planet has the same innate potential for creative thought. Only we human beings have been gifted with a creative imagination. It is this quality of the mind that uniquely characterizes a single universal human race.

A true Democratic Republic recognizes the contributions of all of its people equally and provides for the general welfare of all its citizens, regardless of ethnicity. Ethnic nationalism in Africa, which has existed for decades, in some cases for centuries, as a legacy of colonialism, tears apart the fabric of society and undermines the sovereignty of a nation. Ethnic nationalism contributes to weakening the central government, making it easy prey for foreign instigated destabilizations and attempts at regime change. The self-governance of a nation by its citizens, to create a better future for its people, cannot co-exist with ethnic nationalism. This type of ethnicity prevents democratic systems from taking root and flourishing.

Conclusion

To help build democratic institutions throughout Africa, we need to go beyond simply encouraging nations to have free and fair elections every four years. A viable Democratic Republic is much more than having its citizens show up at the polls every four-five years. Many advocates have not understood that democracy is not possible without development. Nations deprived of economic growth will not be able to provide its citizens with the basic material essentials of life, a prerequisite for a thoughtful deliberative process of governing. It should also be understood that an economically deprived population is desperate and can be easily manipulated against its own government, and its own interest. Economic destitution and the loss of hope for a better life, are the combustible fuel for violence and dictatorships. Conversely, a divided nation can be united when its leaders articulate a visionary program for economic growth that serves the interests of all its citizens,

It is high time we learn this indispensable lesson: democracy cannot succeed without development.

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

A Nuclear Energy Economic Platform Is The Future for Africa

The only nuclear power plant on the African continent, is in Koeberg, South Africa

Nuclear Energy gives you the benefit of industrialization, and beneficiation within the [African] economy, translating to a higher and inclusive growth path and job creation.”

This is the edited transcript of the presentation of Gaopalelwe Santswere to Panel 2, “Physical Economy: Developing the Nӧosphere,” of the Schiller Institute’s Nov. 12, 2022 Conference, “The Physical Economy of the Noӧsphere: Reviving the Heritage of Vladimir Vernadsky.” Mr. Santswere is a nuclear physicist and senior scientist at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation. He is the President of the African Young Generation in Nuclear (AYGN). (EIR magazine. Nov 25, 2022)

Africa’s Need for Nuclear Power and Nuclear Medicine

Gaopalelwe Santswere (Courtesy of EIR magazine)

Gaopalelwe Santswere: Thank you very much for the opportunity to be part of the speakers today on a very important topic of the growing youth movement for nuclear power and nuclear medicine in Africa. We’ve seen that Africa has adopted what is called the Agenda 2063. One of the ancestors of Agenda 2063 is the need for integration, as one of the key foundations for assuring Africa achieve its goals for inclusive and sustainable growth and development. There we have seen that within the African Agenda 2063, there are about seven aspirations. Just to give you one of the most fundamental ones, which is Aspiration 2 of this Agenda 2063, placing import on the need for Africa to develop world-class infrastructure that criss-crosses Africa and which would improve connectivity through newer and bolder initiatives to link the continent by rail, road, sea, air, and develop regional and continental power pools, as well as ICT [Information and Communication Technology].

So there’s a need for us, if you look at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to assure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Now, if you take a look at Africa, we’ve got about 620 million Africans who are sitting without power. So out of 1.2 billion, you can see that almost half of Africans don’t have access to electricity. Therefore, Africa has not the opportunity to industrialize to have a future in the continent which would create sustainable jobs, to improve the conditions of the Africans in order to ensure that they can move forward.

There has been quite a robust debate within the continent as to what sort of technology should the continent adopt in order to ensure that we can move forward, and also develop the continent for the sustainability of most of the continent’s population, which are young people. So, when we look at the types of energy sources that we have, we know that there is some potential hydro in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which can potentially give us 40,000 MW of electricity. But we know what is the problem there: The geopolitical instability, regional instability that has caused the delay of this project seeing its life.

So we have seen, recently also, in the topic of hydro, Ethiopia has just launched or commissioned a hydropower plant that is supplying most of the East African countries there. But it also was not completed without political tension with Egypt and Sudan, because they’re saying that as it continues to fill up, it could potentially dry up some of the [downstream areas in Sudan and Egypt] and also affect the income.

Now we have seen the potential contention between the use of coal or hydrocarbons within the world: The world is saying that we need to move away from hydrocarbons and move to more clean energy that will sustain the world moving forward. But that being said, we’re seeing that world has not been achievable because of what we have seen in terms of the energy crisis in Europe and so forth.

So for Africa to develop, one of the energy sources that we foresee potentially could develop Africa is the use of nuclear power. We know that in Africa we’ve got two units at Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant in South Africa, that are continuously supporting South African electricity to almost 2,000 MW. But it’s the only two power reactors that are currently existing in the continent.

We have seen a number of countries expressing interest within the African continent, countries like Kenya, countries like Nigeria, countries like Ghana and so forth, who want to introduce nuclear power, due to the demand or energy poverty that their populations are subjected to. We have seen recently that Egypt has started construction on 4,800 MW of new nuclear power plants in the continent. This is very much welcome, because we have seen that now nuclear is starting to expand within the continent, and this will bring much relief in terms of the energy poverty that the continent has been experiencing for decades. We know that Africa is mostly referred to as “the darkest continent” because of lack of access to electricity.

So, one of the things that we need to do, in Africa in terms of energy, is to have a strategic plan that will ensure its society or citizens’ wellness within the continent; energy security which takes consideration of the environment; and competitiveness, including affordability and funding, in order to ensure that we have got economic growth and transformation, job creation, and equitable share in fulfillment of the African objective.

Now, when we look at a nuclear power plant, it is one of the most affordable [sources of] electricity. We can take cognizance that when you look at the power generation in South Africa in terms of the cost per kilowatt, nuclear is very, very low compared to other energy sources. Most of the developed countries in the world, they exist because the economy is based also on the development of nuclear power, so therefore, Africa must take some of the lessons from the world to ensure that they also can emphasize energy security, they also improve the lives of their citizens, by developing the nuclear power plan.

So, one fact is that we have over the years developed what we call the African Young Generation in Nuclear, which has enabled the young generations within the continent to emphasize why there is a need for us to go nuclear. We have emphasized that the bottom aspect of this is because Africa has to develop its own capacity and ensure that it addresses the socioeconomic issues of the continent through the promotion of nuclear power technology in Africa.

So, we need to do this. We have been doing it by degrees, to define, first, nuclear technology and educating the public about the benefits of nuclear for the public. We have facilitated the student government platforms and knowledge transfer platforms between the current generation of leading nuclear experts and the young generation about the nuclear profession.

What we are doing is, we have offered the platform to share, exchange ideas, and network on issues related to nuclear science and technology. Because what we have seen is that once we have addressed the energy issues, we have addressed a lot of things. And we strongly believe that nuclear has the capacity to address what Africa is lacking currently. And just to mention a few: We’ve seen that when you develop nuclear, you develop an economy in terms of energy security and by socioeconomic development. We align with national goals in terms of national development plans for energy transfer, and diversifying the African continent’s energy mix, which opens up an array of opportunities within the energy sector. It gives you the benefit of industrialization, and beneficiation within the [African] economy, translating to a higher and inclusive growth path and job creation. Of course, this will increase the pace of inclusive growth, which will face the biggest challenges on the continent.

Also bearing in mind, for sustainable economic growth we need to develop a technology that can develop and advance the economic wellbeing of the African continent.

So what we need also to recognize is that nuclear technology is not only power related. We can also apply it in different sectors like agriculture, nuclear medicine, and so forth. We know, just from the International Atomic Energy Agency this year there was a scientific forum focusing on the Rays of Hope initiative to ensure there can be access to cancer care. So we strongly believe that the nuclear technology can address that kind of issue.

We know that the continent has been losing quite a lot of money, where the patients are taken out of the continent to get care in the East or in Europe. So therefore, we strongly believe in the development of cancer treatment within the continent through radiotherapy, through access to nuclear medicine. Of course, we understand that cancer is one of the most killing diseases of the continent. So diagnosis and treatment of cancer will ensure that the development of Africa moves forward.

Just to give you an example: For a treatment for cancer, for example prostate cancer, we’ve seen South Africa developing the [radioactive isotope] Lutetium-177 production facility, which we have seen can treat prostate cancer much better.

So with that, I would like to say thank you for the opportunity. Thank you very much, and we look forward to the discussion.

Read my earlier posts:

South African Activist Campaigns for Nuclear Energy For Africa: Essential for Industrialization

South Africa: A Leader on the Continent for Nuclear Energy

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

For Peace Agreement to Become Durable Peace for Ethiopia: Reconstruction and Development Are Imperative

Watch my interview above from November 8, 2022, on ETV.

The Peace Agreement to end Ethiopia’s two year old war, signed on November 2nd, shepherded by the Africa Union has led to a cessation of hostilities and silencing of the guns. This is an essential first step. However, it is not sufficient. Now that the agreement has been signed, the highest priority is to turn an agreement on paper into a durable peace that will bring stability to Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. From my experience, the best way to achieve durable peace, is to identify a national mission that will necessitate for all parties in the conflict to collaborate for the betterment of Ethiopia. I suggest the government of Ethiopia emulate the policies of President Franklin Roosevelt, (1933 to 1945), by initiating  a full mobilization to not only reconstruct Northern Ethiopia, but also expand the growth of the entire Ethiopian economy. Put Ethiopian  youth and unemployed to work rebuilding the areas hit hardest by the war, and at the same time modernizing-upgrading the nation’s economic mode of production.

For example. Ethiopia can eliminate hunger and become a net food exporter by doubling and tripling irrigation. This requires more infrastructure, plentiful energy, mechanization, and new scientifically driven agricultural practices.

If the West, in particular the United States, truly cares about the future of Ethiopia and the welfare of all the people in the surrounding region, then the U.S. government should issue bullions of dollars in long term, low interest credits to aid in the development of Ethiopia. Ending sanctions and issuing credits for development would be the most helpful contribution the U.S. could make to the present and future stability of Ethiopia.

The only way to achieve lasting peace is by unifying the people of Ethiopia through a shared common mission, one that is committed to improving the standard of living of all Ethiopians, regardless of ethnicity or geography.

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

U.S. Sanctions Must End Now to Support Massive Reconstruction of Ethiopia: No More Coercion!

Watch my interview above for my latest analysis from Sunday November 6, on implications of Ethiopian Pease Agreement. Here I discuss that the challenge now is to move beyond a cessation of hostilities to creating a durable peace throughout the entire nation. What is most important, is to proceed without delay for the reconstruction of Northern Ethiopia. Ethiopia should emulate U.S. President, Franklin Roosevelt’s 1933 policy in rebuilding the United States from the ashes of the Great Depression. Ethiopia should have a mobilization to rebuild and expand its economy, fully employing its youth in this national task. If the U.S. is thinking clearly, and acting morally, it will not only drop all sanctions against Ethiopia, but immediately readmit Ethiopia to AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) . However, it should do more. The U.S. and the West should ensure peace for Ethiopia and stability to the Horn of Africa by extending long term, low interest credit to support Ethiopia’s task of national reconstruction. It is time for Ethiopia to leave the past behind, and define a national mission for the future that will unify the nation: a transformational economic development plan to eliminate poverty.

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

COP 27 “Climate Change” Will Reduce Economic Growth in African Nations-Causing Increased Death Rates

In my interview above with Rogue News- roguenews.com, I explain why COP 27 demands for African nations not to exploit their own natural resources, is beyond hypocritical; it is evil. African nations should have the right to utilize every bit of their fossil fuels to generate energy while providing a transition to a nuclear energy platform. African nations must have abundant and accessible energy to power industrialized economies. Failure is not an option, if we are to prevent unnecessary deaths from hunger, poverty, and disease.

Read my earlier post: “Climate Change” A Weapon to Prevent Industrialization of African Economies: Expect Push-Back at COP 27 in Egypt

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

“Climate Change” A Weapon to Prevent Industrialization of African Economies: Expect Push-Back at COP 27 in Egypt

November 6, 2022

Part I:  Energy for Development

Western nations and their institutions are attempting to dictate that  African nations do not exploit their own valuable energy resources of oil, gas, and coal. They are hysterically disseminating an unfounded fear that development of Africa’s energy will lead to catastrophic consequences for civilization. However, more African leaders are speaking out on the necessity and sovereign obligation for African nations to consume their natural resources to develop their economies.

Mo Ibrahim has added his voice to other African leaders who object to denying African nations the right to utilize their natural hydro-carbon resources for the benefit of their people. Sub-Saharan Africa is resource rich and energy poor, which is the leading cause of poverty and hunger for hundreds of millions of Africans. Unless and until and African nations install a density of energy to power the creation of industrialized economies, their people will continue to suffer.

In a recent interview in The Guardian, entitled, Billionaire Mo Ibrahim Attacks Hypocrisy Over Africa Gas, the philanthropist and Sudanese businessman, bluntly criticized the obscene and unfair policy to prevent African nations from exploiting their gas reserves.    

We have 600 million people without electricity. How can we even think of development if people don’t have power?…Development is a major issue for us, and power is essential.

“Nine hundred million people in Africa suffer from unclean cooking – mainly women. What about the pollution effect of that? It’s a serious problem, a health disaster, and an environmental disaster. That’s why we need gas.

Mo Ibrahim courtesy of mo.ibrahim.foundation

Contrasting the dictates from the U.S. and EU, for Africans increasingly rely on so called renewables, Mr. Ibrahim appropriately objected: “If [renewable energy] is valid, why don’t those guys jump immediately and stop using gas? They’re not doing that – they’re building [LNG infrastructure], they’re actually even reopening coalmines. So, you’re giving me advice which you’re not following yourself.”

The hypocrisy of the West is blatantly obvious. Europe is in overdrive to obtain fossil fuels in Africa now that energy flows from Russia are in jeopardy. Last month, reporters from the New York Times wrote, “European leaders have been converging on Africa’s capital cities, eager to find alternatives to Russian natural gas.” NYT-Europe turns to Africa for natural gas.

What the West is demanding of African nations goes beyond hypocrisy; it is immoral and wicked.

Every competent leader, as well as any honest economist, knows from the history of the development of modern society, that abundant, and accessible forms of power have been essential for nations to progress. That is why all advanced sector nations have exploited fossil fuels in the past and continue to depend on them in the present, even as they demand that African nations do not.

It is scientifically known, that forcing African nations to rely on wind and solar as primary sources of energy will guarantee that these nations will not develop, will not become industrialized, will not be able to feed their populations. Resulting in endless poverty. Hence, is this not a new, modern form of imperialism?

African Leaders Speak Out

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe

  • Speaking in December 2021, South African Minister of Energy, Gwede Mantashe, said:   

Africa deserves an equal chance to develop its economies on the strength of her natural resources. 

Several countries on the African continent have announced their oil and gas finds which present massive opportunities for economic growth, industrialization, and job creation. As these developments unfold, we have noted with interest, the pushback, and objections from environmental lobby groups against the development of these resources.

I cannot help but ask myself, are these objections meant to ensure the status quo remains in Africa, in general, and South Africa, in particular? That is, the status quo with regards to energy poverty, high unemployment, high debt to GDP ratio at country level and economies that are not growing and, in some cases, jobless economic growth. Could it be possible that this is an extreme pure love for the environment or an unrelenting campaign to ensure that Africa and South Africa do not see the investment inflows they need?

He concluded:

“South Africa deserves the opportunity to capitalize on its natural resources including oil and gas, as these resources have been proven to be game changers elsewhere. We consider the objections to these developments as apartheid and colonialism of a special type, masqueraded as a great interest for environmental protection.” Nigerian VP: Osinbajo “Climate Justice Must Include Ending Energy Poverty” Especially for Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Speaking in October of this year, Minister Mantashe got to the heart of the matter:  

I see the protests outside this venue that said, ‘fossil fuels a killer’, but I can tell you that hunger kills faster”.

We have seen the increase of coal purchasing from us to EU growing eightfold, 780%. As they take our coal, they at the same time tell us to move out of it quickly. That is a contradiction that Africa must look at.

“Africa must determine its pathway from high carbon emissions to low carbon emissions. It must take into account our developmental needs & must not be dictated to by anybody else who is at a different level of development.” South Africa Energy Minister Rejects Western Dictates & Hypocrisy Against Africa’s Use of Energy Resources

  • Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s Vice-President, wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine in August 2021:

But limiting the development of fossil fuel projects and, in particular, natural gas projects would have a profoundly negative impact on Africa. Natural gas doesn’t make sense in every African market. But in many, it is a crucial tool for lifting people out of poverty. It is used not only for power but for industry and fertilizer and for cleaner cooking. Liquified petroleum gas is already replacing huge amounts of hazardous charcoal and kerosene that were most widely used for cooking, saving millions of lives that were previously lost to indoor air pollution. The role of gas as a transition fuel for developing countries, especially in Africa, cannot be overemphasized.

“Yet Africa’s progress could be undone by the rich world’s efforts to curb investments in all fossil fuels.Nigerian VP: Osinbajo “Climate Justice Must Include Ending Energy Poverty” Especially for Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari wrote in Newsweek magazine, (10/31/21):

It is an inconvenient truth, but energy solutions proposed by those most eager to address the climate crisis are fuel for the instability of which they warn. No more clearly can this be seen than in Africa.

“For today’s 1.3 billion Africans, access to low-cost and reliable energy is the highest of all possible concerns. Estimated to rise to 2.5 billion by 2050—by 2100 Nigeria alone is projected to have the second largest population on the planet—this “great doubling” (for Nigeria, quadrupling) has the right to more dependable electricity than their forebears.

Without extra and stable power, we cannot build the factories that will transform Africa from a low-job, extractives-led economy to a high employment middle-income continent. Children cannot learn for longer and better by battery light any more than by candlelight. No more than the Africa of today, the Africa of tomorrow cannot advance using energy production that intermittently delivers.President Buhari of Nigeria, Demands More and Reliable Energy for Africa from COP26

Part II: Climate Change Is Complex

Hysterical claims that human generated carbon dioxide (CO2), will destroy civilization, is simply not true. Civilization is not facing a cataclysmic future from “Anthropogenic Global Warming.” Destruction of civilization by nuclear war is a far more likely possibility if we do not pull back from the brink of confrontation with Russia.

Even the term “climate change” is a misnomer and completely misleading. Our planet, since its creation, estimated to be over four billion years old, has undergone constant climate change, driven by geological, solar, astronomical, and galactic forces.

One cannot determine the causes for climate change in days, months, or even years. Serious thinkers seek to understand changes in climate by examining data from hundreds, thousands, and millions of years ago.

Our Solar System not only rotates around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy every 230 million years, but also bobs above and below the elliptic plane of the Milky Way every 60 million years. Both of these long cycle movements affect weather. The intensity and density of the 11-year cycle of Sunspots also affects our climate.

Over millions of years, there have been huge temperature swings. Our planet has experienced many ice ages followed by warming periods. The Sahara Desert only came into existence a few million years ago, as the African tectonic plate crashed into what is today known as Europe. However, even the Sahara, which is the largest, driest, hottest desert in the world is constantly undergoing change from wet to dry. This is the result of a 22,500-25,000-year cycle caused by the wobble of the earth due to its tilted axis, as it rotates around the Sun. This wobble causes dramatic changes in temperature and rainfall.

C02 Is Not Our Enemy

The theory, if you can call it that, falsely predicts that civilization will die from rising temperatures as a result of industrial societies producing too much CO2. It is based on the simplistic assumption that if you pump CO2 into a sealed container, it will heat up. This heat-death scenario for the human race relies on the erroneous theory that our universe is entropic. In fact, our universe is not marching towards ultimate heat-death. Our biosphere is a developing organism, which does not function as a closed system, but exists in a growing living universe.

Anthropogenic contributions to CO2 emissions are minuscule and have no impact on our climate. Examine the facts from In Defense of co2 and Astro Climatology listed below.

Today, large amounts of carbon dioxide are regularly generated by biotic and abiotic activity from living animals, decaying biomass as well as volcanos which constantly emit CO2 and other greenhouse gases. A surprisingly small portion of that naturally occurring CO2 is caused by human economic activity.

Taking the entire composition of greenhouse gases together, water vapor makes up 95% of the bulk, carbon dioxide makes up 3.6%, nitrous oxide (0.9%), methane (0.3%), and aerosols about 0.07%.

Of the sum total of the 3.6% carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, approximately 0.9% is caused by human activity. To restate this statistic: Human CO2 makes up less than 1% of the 3.6% of the total greenhouse gases influencing our climate. (Emphasis added)

Causation between CO2 and rising temperatures has not been proven. During the ice ages,  thousands of years ago, CO2 levels were magnitudes higher. More recently, from 1000-1350 A.D., during the age of the Vikings, global mean temperatures were also elevated. This was followed by the Little Ice Age that lasted from (1450-1850). Both these periods of history existed before human industrialized activity, which is falsely claimed to be the cause of global warming.

Dr. Kelvin Kemm is a nuclear physicist and former Chairman of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, has written: Another interesting observation, which is regularly overlooked, is that there are clear indications that atmospheric temperature increase precedes CO2 concentration, and not the other way around…if even a shallow depth of the oceans warms by a small amount, huge amounts of CO2 would be expected to be released. So, CO2 atmospheric concentration lagging behind temperature change strikes one as extremely logical.” Climate Change ebb and flow of the tide

Dr Kemm’s point is corroborated by scientific data. If one looks a temperatures and levels of C02 going back hundreds of thousands of years, one observes that rising temperatures proceeded higher concentrations of CO2.

The Promethean Principle

It is scientifically known that any short term drastic reduction in the use of fossil fuels as an energy source will lead to more poverty, and an increase in the death rate. So-called renewables are a poor substitute for 24×7 abundant reliable energy. More dangerously for civilization is the neo-Malthusian ideology of the extreme environmentalists. This anti-scientific belief asserts that humankind’s existence is in a fundamental antagonistic relationship to the physical universe, and to the environment. The followers of this dogma have a not so hidden prejudice against the human race, who they see as malignant disrupters of so called pristine nature. They believe that humankind is inherently evil, thus it must have its behavior modified.

Like Thomas Malthus, they falsely claim that we live in a fixed universe, with fixed resources, and therefore the human race must be controlled and curtailed. Sadly, a substantial portion of the world’s population has imbibed their anti-scientific propaganda. To wit: that too many people will use up the planet’s resources, thus we must limit population growth. To this end they intend to use the hysteria of climate change to prevent African nations from ever becoming industrialized. This same ideology will contribute to the deindustrialization of the West, serving the same goal; population reduction and decreasing people’s standard of living.

Prometheus binging fire (light, energy) from Mount Olympus to human beings (courtesy of containerjournal.com)

Enter Prometheus and his successful battle for the soul and mind of humankind against Zeus, the tyrant of the all-powerful Gods of Olympus. According to the Greek myth, Prometheus accepted to be tortured for centuries for his crime of giving fire-energy to the human species. Prometheus brought light, science, and knowledge to the “mud-people,” as Zeus referred to them. In so doing, Prometheus fashioned the human race uniquely endowed with the power of creative imagination, the power to discover the embedded principles of our physical universe. Millions of years of history, provide unmistakable evidence that we humans are not mere care takers or stewards of the universe. Rather, humankind  are transmitters of change. We lawfully transform the universe for the perpetuation of our species.

Recent images from NASA’s Webb telescope reveal a highly structured and living universe. Our universe is governed by a creative principle, which corresponds to humankind’s potential of willful creativity. As the great philosopher Gottfried Leibniz understood and eloquently wrote, humankind lives in an “pre-established harmony” with the universe. Humans are not outsiders intruding on a predetermined ecosystem. Quite the opposite. The Promethean human race was created to uniquely intervene through the power of reason to advance the universe to a higher manifold of existence.

Africa’s Energy Future

Governments are obligated to act with speed and determination to produce as much energy as possible from every resources available to address the massive energy deficit that is killing Africans throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Immediately, nuclear fission energy should proliferate across the African continent to power industrialized economies. A fission energy centered economic platform will prepare the transition to a fusion powered economy. Nuclear fusion energy, which replicates the power of the Sun here on earth, will generate energy at magnitudes greater than what we produce from fossil fuels and fission.

Some may object to my optimism that Africa will be powered by fission and fusion energy in the future. Better to be proud Prometheans, than accept today’s diktats from the would be “Gods of Olympus” to remain economically underdeveloped, plagued with hunger, poverty, and death.

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

PM Abiy Ahmed Raises the Bar for Human Rights in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa

Ethiopians celebrate Thanksgiving Festival in Addis. Image : IOL

My colleague, PD Lawton, creator of African Agenda-africanagenda.net, confirms in her insightful article below, what I have known for many years. The most important and fundamental human right, is the right to economic development. Without economic growth, human beings suffer and die. It is the lack of economic development in Africa that is the most serious human right violation. It is about time that all advocates of human rights recognize this indisputable reality. Through Ethiopia’s aggressive economic development policy, the government is addressing human rights more seriously than its attackers.

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Is U.S. Threatening Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed, to Maintain TPLF Legitimacy at Peace Talks?

Lawrence Freeman interviewed by Hermela Aregawi, well known journalist and host of Eyes on Africa-eoanews.com , on October 27, 2022


October 29, 2022

In my most recent statement (see below) published by ENA on Oct 29, I discuss the intention of U.S. Envoy, Mike Hammer as a participant, not an observer, in the African Union led pace talks in South Africa. It appears that the U.S. is engaged in trying to pressure PM Abiy Ahmed to accept some legitimate role for the TPLF in Ethiopia’s future. The U.S. may also be trying to prevent the disarming of the TPLF, preserving their existence as an armed ethno-nationalist army. If this were to be accepted, the TPLF and other armed ethno-nationalist armies, could continually deploy to destabilize Ethiopia. Essentially, making Ethiopia ungovernable, thus denying Ethiopians the opportunity to build a prosperous nation

Watch interview below with Hermela on Day 3 (Oct 27) of Peace Talks in South Africa

Hermela and I had a wide ranging and provocative discussion on the Ethiopian peace talks in South Africa that included such topics as; oligarchism, geopolitics, democracy, creativity, ethnicity, Horn of Africa, the rules based order, the goals of the U.S. involvement in the peace talks, the future of Ethiopia, and more.

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Nigerian Water Minister Promotes Transaqua–A Water Project to Save Lake Chad & Transform Africa

The drying up of Lake Chad would be catastrophic for Africa. The disappearance of this body of water in the Sahel would not only affect the tens of millions of Africans living on and around the lake and the nations of the Lake Chad Basin, but the entirety of the continent. The lake has shrunk over the last six decades to 90% of its original area of 25,000 square kilometers.

Suleiman Adamu, Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, under President Mahammadu Buhari, has called for recharging Lake Chad, as reported in environewsnigeria.com, (excerpted below). Although Minister Adamu does not mention its name, the transformative water infrastructure project to save Lake Chad that he refers to is, Transaqua. It was first proposed by engineer Marcello Vichi in 1980.

Transaqua, was adopted as the preferred solution to restore Lake Chad to its earlier size, at the International Conference to Save Lake Chad, held in Abuja, Nigeria from February 26-28, 2018. I was a prominent speaker at this conference. Read: The Time is Now For TRANSAQUA-to Save Lake Chad and Transform Africa,

Essentially, Dr. Vichi’s proposal called for constructing a 2,400 kilometer canal from the southeast section of the Democratic Republic of the Congo that would flow by gravity northwest to the Central African Republic. There, this navigable canal would connect to the Chari River, the primary contributor of water to Lake Chad. By utilizing a small percentage of water from the Congo River, this canal would conduit an up to one hundred billion cubic meters of water to refurbish Lake Chad. Through human intervention, water is being transferred from the moist Congo River Basin to the arid Lake Chad Basin.

Dr. Vichi recently wrote:

“TRANSAQUA is the only project capable of transforming about 25% of the surface of the African continent by producing agricultural and livestock products sufficient for the domestic market and for export; to stop the advance of the Sahara and save Lake Chad; to produce large production of hydroelectric energy in the heart of Africa with the possibility of industrialization of economic activities; to create a river and road axis of about 2400 km capable of activating a collateral road network for the development of all types of activities; and much more.

“It has been calculated that the TRANSAQUA project could produce in the heart of the African continent, around 30 billion kw/h per year using only 6-8% of the water of the Congo River subtracted from dispersion in the ocean.”

For more information on the transformative impact of Transaqua for Africa, read: Save Lake Chad With Transaqua: Franklin Roosevelt and Kwame Nkrumah Would Concur

U.S. Rebuffs Transaqua

Despite all the ballyhoo and so called concern on the effects of climate change on the African continent, the U.S. has done nothing to address the crippling conditions of poverty and lack of energy. United Nations Envoy, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, typifies the Biden Administration’s deeply flawed outlook when it comes to assisting Africa. Speaking at the UN Security Council  on October 12, Ambassador Greenfield laments the effects of hotter dryer weather in Africa including on Lake Chad, “…we’ve watched Lake Chad as it diminishes in size. And we all wonder when Lake Chad will be no more.”

What rubbish. There is no reason for Lake Chad to disappear. There is a solution. It is called Transaqua. The U.S. has shown zero interest in saving Lake Chad. For decades, I have been the lone American voice advocating vociferously for saving Lake Chad. As Minister Adamu discussed, all that is required to start the project is three million dollars for a feasibility study, which no U.S. government has ever considered. While tens of billions of dollars have been promised to fight climate change in Africa, a tiny fraction of those funds could be spent to initiate Transaqua, a project that can save the lake and transform almost a third of the continent of Africa. Why hasn’t the U.S. allocated this small amount of money for a feasibility study of Transaqua?

The U.S. rejects Transaqua because it rejects development. The U.S. refuses to build infrastructure in Africa, the single most crucial element to address Africa’s massive energy and transportation needs, and create economic growth. Since the death of President John Kennedy, the concept of development has vanished from our thinking-from our culture. For over half a century, American elected officials have failed to demonstrate even a modicum of understanding of how to assist African nations to develop into industrialized economies.

The author advocating for Transaqua at the United Nations, August 2019

Excerpts from remarks by Minister Adamu follow:

Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, has called for more funding and understanding from international partners to save the fast drying Lake Chad from disappearing totally.

Part of the plan to revive the Lake Chad includes inter-basin water transfer from the River Congo to the Chad Basin.

“Although we don’t need $50 billion for Lake Chad but, at least with that kind of fund, the inter-basin water transfer has another angle that you can create a roadway and canals for river navigation.

“You can create many dams and hydropower schemes that will benefit countries like the Central African Republic.

“We can even have a highway from Lagos to Nairobi to Mombasa, from West Coast to the East Coast. It’s all part of the grand plan. But these things, you have to take those systematically.

“So, now we’re waiting to sign the MoU with the AfDB, So, once we’re able to sign that, we hope that we can get some funding, about 2 million to 3 million dollars to do the feasibility study,” Adamu said.

“We had a successful conference in February 2018. In that conference, we achieved two things.

“Number one, we achieved consensus. There is an international consensus, not only an African consensus, an international consensus that the Lake Chad has to be saved.

“Secondly, the consensus we had among us African countries was that the inter-basin water transfer should be given a shot at as the best way for the long term sustainability of the lake,” Adamu said.

“I’m worried that in the next 50 years we may wake up one day and there’s no Lake Chad,” the minister warned.

Read the entire article: Nigerian Minister Calls for International Funding to Revive Lake Chad

Read my earlier posts:

United Nations Conference: The Lake Chad Basin Should not be ‘Managed’; it Should be ‘Transformed.’

Water Transfer With Transaqua Will Bring Peace & Development to Lake Chad Basin

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

South Africa Energy Minister Rejects Western Dictates & Hypocrisy Against Africa’s Use of Energy Resources

Fossil fuels kill, but hunger kills faster, Mantashe tells conference

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe

The paucity of energy in sub-Saharan Africa is killing Africans every day. South Africa Energy Minister Mantashe has continually rejected demands by Western nations and their political-financial institutions for African nations not to exploit their own natural resources. To improve the living conditions of their citizens, African nations must industrialize their economies, which necessitates exploiting every resource available. Not only are these dictates an infringement on the sovereignty of African nations, but those in the West, who are trying to prevent Africa’s energy utilization, are contributing to poverty, hunger, and loss of life.

Reported on October 4, from news24.com

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says the African continent should not be dictated to when it comes to the pace of its energy transition. This as a R150 billion funding deal from rich countries to help fund South Africa’s transition from coal hangs in the balance.

In an address to the 2022 Africa Oil Week in Cape Town on Tuesday, Mantashe said the war in Ukraine has hit developing economies with high energy costs, along with increasing food prices and interest rates.

He said the climate change question “sits uncomfortably with energy poverty”, adding that the pressure on African economies to decarbonize quickly will expose it to the risk that its people will not have access to reliable and affordable energy if handled with haste.

“Africa must determine its pathway from high carbon emissions to low carbon emissions. It must take into account our developmental needs, & must not be dictated to by anybody else who is at a different level of development.”

“I see the protests outside this venue that said ‘fossil fuels a killer’, but I can tell you that hunger kills faster”.

“We have seen the increase of coal purchasing from us to EU growing eightfold, 780%. As they take our coal, they at the same time tell us to move out of it quickly. That is a contradiction that Africa must look at,” he said.

Read entire article here from news24.com

Originally posted below by africanagenda.net

Read below earlier posts from my website on this subject:

South Africa and China Articulate Principles for Global Development at United Nations

Nigerian VP: Osinbajo “Climate Justice Must Include Ending Energy Poverty” Especially for Sub-Saharan Africa

African Nations Desperately Need Energy for Economic Growth

South African Activist Campaigns for Nuclear Energy For Africa: Essential for Industrialization

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton